T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Kunzea ericoides var. microflora (Geothermal Kanuka)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked):Eudicots
(Unranked):Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Kunzea
Species: K. ericoides var. microflora
Scientific name: Kunzea ericoides var. microflora
Synonyms: Leptospermum ericoides var. microflorum
Common Name: Geothermal Kanuka, Geothermal Kunzea, Prostrate Kanuka

Kunzea ericoides var. microflora is a native endemic to the North Island Central Volcanic Field, the Bay of Plenty (Whale Island) and south to Tokaanu on the southern side of Lake Taupo. It inhabits active or senescent geothermal fields or grows in the vicinity of these. Certainly hybrids of this plant are locally common in the Rotorua area.
It is spreading, small tree or trailing shrub, (0.1-)-2-5(-8)m tall. Usually multi-trunked from base, trunks slender, more or less decurved, sometimes decumbent. It has slender, numerous, brittle, twiggy branchlets with grey bark that flakes into small irregular shards.
White to pink sweetly scented flowers are in spiky clusters and appear late August to December.
Fruiting occurs during December to February. The seeds are numerous, rather fine and are yellow or orange-yellow in colour.

The photos below are of a selected form which now marketed in some garden centres as Kunzea ericoides var microflora cerise. It has attractive pink hue to new growth and small white flowers (spring/summer). 

Photographed at Te Kainga Marire Gardensat Spencer Place.






   

New red coloured leaves (November)